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The Science of the Paranormal

Posted on 12 May 2015, 8:05

I have found Lawrence LeShan such a help in thinking about synchronicities such as recorded in my last blog, “Sing the Music of your Soul”. In his The Science of the Paranormal 1987, he makes a number of points, including:

(1) He is especially helpful when he points out the evidence that the spiritual-physical universe is one and undivided, with matter and mind always entangled with all else in this whole.

In ordinary everyday life when we look at the whole with physical eyes, we are like a person sitting in front of a computer. Think about one particular person sitting front of a computer screen. Here is Mary Smith, in one of the rooms at 23 Jones Street, at 4 o’clock on Friday. She switches the computer on. Here we have Mary Smith living in the normal world. But when Google comes on the screen, she is entering cyberspace, seemingly not in any particular space and time,  and asks a question, then gets information from all round the world, derived from millions of computers in nearly every part of the world. We get the information, but we have no real idea how we got the information, from which computer in a foreign land, or when the information got there. We don’t even ask.

It can be exactly the same with the mental universe. When we ask a question in prayer, or meditation we sometimes get information, but we can’t begin to think where it came from, any more than we can think when we ask a question of Google.

We have the same situation with synchronicity. Information and events come together in a strange way. We ask, How on earth was that possible? We may ask, but we won’t really get an answer. But we can suggest situations where we are more likely to experience synchronicity. LeShan has also this to say:

(2) A psi (psychic) phenomenon (like synchronicity) is “the detected possession of information held by an individual who could not have acquired this information [directly or indirectly] by means of the senses.”

When I recorded my dream of 1991 I had no idea that strange picture of a “Catholic priest clothed in liver,” had a parallel to that day’s newspaper report I was yet to read , about an exhibition in Canada in which a model was clothed in a cloak made of beefsteak.

I had no idea that the lexicon would show that the Hebrew word for “liver” also meant “glory”.

I had no idea that the Gospel reading for Sunday would refer to Christ being “clothed in glory”.

My dream was like a crossword puzzle clue: “catholic= universal priest= Christ”; “clothed in liver” = Christ “clothed in glory”.

I also had no idea that “there on the sands lies my surplice, my alb, white and rumpled wet with blood” also had a parallel in the Gospel, “Whoever loves life will lose it,” “dying to self, rising with Christ.”

In my dream there is much “detected possession of information held by an individual who could not have acquired this information [directly or indirectly] by means of the senses.”Therefore we are definitely looking at psi, or psychic phenomena. And I suppose you could also say that there is synchronicity there. The dream, lexicon, and Gospel are clearly meaningfully related – Carl Jung would say in an “acausal” way, implying, “no-one can find a cause why it happened,” - why these things came together in my dream of 1991. These things came together meaningfully…but we can’t know how.

But then we come to the year 2015.

The picture that I had given Norman and Laura Kjome in 2006, “Sing the Music of your Soul”,  fell in the Kjomes’ home in Michigan US, an hour before I found my dream of 1991 here in New Zealand. I receive notification via email an hour later. I also note that all this happens on the very day my book on synchronicity is published.

(3) LeShan also remarks that psi phenomena are “need determined” and “flaw determined.”

I needed that 1991 dream to influence me further in the direction of Spirit.

LeShan would say that the dream came because my physical mind, between waking and sleep, wasn’t screening out information on the spiritual plane. (= “flaw determined”.) Although we don’t know who or what knocked the picture down in one country, and got me looking for the 1991 dream poem at precisely the right moment, in another, it could well be argued that I needed the experience.

(4) LeShan notes how psi information is definitely slanted to [a person’s] interests and viewpoint. It never is any old information.

It’s very clear in this case that it is personal to me.

(5) Another necessity for psi is a psychological relationship – preferably an emotion laden relationship.

Although Norman Kjome lives in another country, he has been involved in numerous synchronicities with me from 1979 to this year 2015, when that picture fell. Norman and I are not at all in constant communication, but when an important synchronistic event appears to have been needed, Norman seems to make the occasion. Neither of us can explain how it comes about. But it does.

(6) “Psi occurrences are only detectable when sensory communication between those involved is blocked.”

In my case most of the people involved in the most striking synchronicities with me, have been overseas: Prof Mary Rose from Baltimore MA, Prof Steven Rosen, now of Vancouver, Prof Richard Cocks, Oswego NY, Norman Kjome of Minnesota, Joakim Thoresson of Gothenburg, Sweden, Brian Cocksey in Auckland NZ – I can name others.

I have compared the functioning of synchronicity to the internet. There does seem to be much in common.

We shouldn’t take the comparison too far, though. There is nothing machine like in synchronicity. It has something to do with love, with our spiritual selves. It has a lot to do with aspects of religious experience.

It can lead us to experience the holy.

Michael Cocks edits the journal, The Ground of Faith.
Afterlife Teaching From Stephen the Martyr by Michael Cocks is published by White Crow Books and available from Amazon and other bookstores.
His latest book, Into the Wider Dream: Synchronicity in the Witness Box is published by White Crow Books.

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Mediumship: A Preview by Paul Beard – Mediumship is both a simple and a complex happening. To evaluate what is involved, an important balance needs to be sought between objective and subjective sides. Both must necessarily contribute if a long term and developing view is to come about. Since mediumistic material also arises at very different levels of significance, this requires to be assessed by criteria appropriate to each level. Read here
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